The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC)

PTWC webpage warnings for July 29, 2011

On the Pacific Coast of British Columbia tsunami warnings are posted to all coastal communities and marine traffic by radio broadcasts. On the British Columbia lighthouses there is one monitoring station located at Langara Point lighthouse. In the event of a significant earthquake readings are taken from this site to observe forecasted tsunami waves. Up to date tsunami warnings may be found on this page. of the PTWC.

For those interested in monitoring earthquakes, there is a sidebar gadget for Vista and Windows 7 that lists earthquakes as they occur. You can see it here.

A bit of history from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) webpage:

The era of tsunami warnings began in the United States with Thomas Jaggar’s (founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)) attempt to warn the Hilo harbormaster of the possibility of a tsunami generated by the 1923 Kamchatka earthquake. His warning was not taken seriously, and at least one fisherman was killed.


Official tsunami warning capability in the U.S. began in 1949 as a response to the 1946 tsunami generated in the Aleutian Islands that devastated Hilo. The U.S. federal government already had a sizable piece of property in ʻEwa Beach to house the Honolulu Geomagnetic Observatory. The Tsunami Warning Center was co-located with this facility, which is maintained by PTWC staff today. Continue reading